Gyalwang Karmapa’s Closing Remarks

Gyalwang Karmapa’s Closing Remarks

29 February 2024

At the conclusion of the sixth day’s teaching on the Fifty Verses, the Gyalwang Karmapa spoke to those attending the Arya Kshema. The following is a transcript edited slightly to improve readability.

The Arya Kshema Spring Dharma Gathering started after I arrived in India. [The Kagyu Gunchoe started before the Gyalwang Karmapa came to India in 2000.]

The reason for starting the Arya Kshema was that within our Kagyu tradition, just as the monks have the Kagyu Gunchoe, the nuns should have a similar format. Its main purpose is to increase the enthusiasm and courage of the nuns. The principal thing is for you nuns, from your own part, to become more courageous, to increase your enthusiasm and strength of mind. Actually, if you feel a little discouraged, no matter however much the people around you say, it won’t make much of a difference. So, the main thing is that you, from your own side, need to become more courageous, and I think this is a good opportunity for that. It’s a good stage for it. If you can use the powers of your body, speech and mind to spread the teachings of the Buddha in general, and, in particular, so that the nuns’ community may flourish, so that within the nuns’ community, listening, conduct, contemplation, meditation and practice may all improve. It is important for all of you to rouse your enthusiasm for working at this.

In any case, for the future, these days the nuns’ community is becoming more and more important. For example, both inside and outside Tibet, there are places where previously there were no nunneries, where new nunneries have been founded. There are more and more nunneries. Likewise, in the past most of the nunneries had no opportunities for engaging in study, whereas nowadays most nunneries have a shedra, so the nuns can engage in listening and contemplating the great philosophical texts. They now have the facilities for this and these facilities are becoming better and better. So, in the future, the nuns’ communities have an opportunity and also a responsibility for improving facilities for the nuns. This is why it’s important for you to increase your enthusiasm and your courage.

In the past, I have spoken about establishing a central shedra for the nuns and I hope we can get this project going soon. Perhaps it would be best to found this shedra somewhere in Nepal. 

Also, in Bhutan we have Karma Drubdey Palmo Choskyi Dingkhang. This is a very old nunnery now and because of the local geography there’s a danger of flooding and earthquake, so they have no choice but to move to a different site and build a new nunnery. Up until now, a fair number of people have helped with this project, and I should like to take this opportunity to thank them. If there are others who are able to continue this help, I’d like to request you to help as much as you can.

That’s basically it.

[At this point, there was a short mandala offering and concluding prayers for auspiciousness.]

So tonight, there's the all-night debate, but I'm not sure I can come to that. I think I've said everything I need to say and this evening the time doesn't work out.

In any case, now I would like to say thank you to all the nuns and nunneries that have come and participated in this Arya Kshema. I think it would be very good if even more of you could come next year. The Arya Kshema shouldn’t be like the ‘diamond’ in the Tibetan story of Nyichoe Sangpo, that melts away and just gets smaller and smaller. [ed. Nyichoe Sangpo is a Tibetan folklore hero similar to Aku Tonpa. He fooled a miserly chieftain with a ‘huge diamond’ which was, in fact, a block of ice. When it was put in the sun, it melted away!]

There are some nunneries who have had understandable reasons why they couldn't come this year. So next year, unless there is a significant issue preventing them from coming, I think it would be really good if everyone were to come, because this is something we're doing for the benefit of Buddhism in general. It's not just for the benefit of a particular nunnery or labrang. The Buddhist teachings in general need to flourish, and if that turns out well, all the nunneries and labrangs will naturally have more strength and power, and so forth. If only some nunneries are involved, from the outside it might appear to be going well, in the short term. But, it needs to go well for all the nunneries, otherwise, in the long term, it will decline. 

This is a really important point for everyone to understand.

This year it didn't work out, but after not too long, I really would like to come in person to the Arya Kshema Spring Dharma Teachings and participate in person, to serve in person. This is my strong hope.

In particular, I'd like to say thank you to Kyabje Drupon Rinpoche as well as all the khenpos and teachers from all the nunneries, and everyone who teaches and so forth. This year, especially, there have been many judges in the debate competition.
I'd like to say thank you to the debate judges. And so that is that.